The Antarctic climate system varies on timescales from orbital, through millennial to sub-annual, and is closely coupled to other parts of the global climate system. We review these variations from the perspective of the geological and glaciological records and the recent historical period from which we have instrumental data (∼ the last 50 years). We consider their consequences for the biosphere, and show how the latest numerical models project changes into the future, taking into account human actions in the form of the release of greenhouse gases and chlorofluorocarbons into the atmosphere. In doing so, we provide an essential Southern Hemisphere companion to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.
- Environmental change
- Southern Ocean